Vision Rehabilitation

Vision Rehabilitation

Posted under Living With Low Vision

Vision Rehabilitation is the Key

At the center of an active, independent life with low vision is vision rehabilitation. Fortunately, the U.S. government has recognized the importance of such rehabilitation to a growing percentage of the population and Medicare now covers many aspects of vision rehabilitation. Vision rehabilitation is usually provided by a Vision Rehabilitation Specialist in conjunction with your eye care professional. This combination of training has shown to be a significant benefit when using a low vision device. The main steps of the rehabilitation are:

  • Identification of the low vision condition and underlying disorder
  • An analysis of your current refraction, meaning what strength glasses do you require and what, if any, special filters or other additions should be used with the glasses
  • An analysis and tracking of the exact position of your scotoma (i.e., the areas of vision that are blurred or missing). This analysis will help determine your Preferred Retina Location or PRL which is the area of vision from which you see best.
  • Training in eccentric viewing which teaches you to see "around" the areas of vision that are damaged. This will involve a series of training sessions with your Vision Rehabilitation Specialist using special teaching tools and cards.
  • Activity of Daily Living training that gives you new and better ways to do the activities you most value in daily life. This will include issues like:
    • Lighting
    • Adaptive devices like large-print telephone keypads, talking clocks, magnifying mirrors, etc.
    • Safety issues
    • Computer use requirements
    • Driving and transportation requirements
    • Special requirements for work or school
    • Support groups
    • Psychological counseling
    • Identification of needed vision-enhancing devices and training in their use. This may involve everything from using a simple magnifying glass to selection of a head-worn electronic magnifier that enhances vision close-up, midrange and at a distance.

Remarkably, a huge change in a person’s ability to see with low vision can be made in just a few Vision Rehabilitation sessions. It really is your key to independence.